USA issues China travel advisory warning of 'exit bans'

U.S. State Department Issues Travel Advisory for China Due to ‘Exit Bans’		AFP  Getty 3 Jan 2019

This was apparently in reference to the State Department's updated travel warning, which claims US citizens may be blocked from leaving the country by so-called exit bans.

The first line of the advisory cites the "arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S".

The State Department added that exit bans are used to force Americans to cooperate in Chinese government investigations, to "lure individuals back to China from overseas", and to help authorities resolve civil disputes "in favor of Chinese parties".

He dismissed the latest United States travel advisory, saying that the large number of American visitors to China previous year alone was proof that China was a safe country. "US citizens under exit bans have been harassed and threatened", the warning reads. "USA citizens under exit bans have been harassed and threatened", the State Department said.

The Washington Post on Thursday quoted experts struggling to read the signals from China, which has been unusually adamant and outspoken about prosecuting the two Canadians, but also seems determined to give them what passes for a fair trial in China, as opposed to the sinister "extralegal" methods it frequently employs in national security cases. US citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny, it adds.

"U.S. citizens may be detained without access to USA consular services or information about their alleged crime", the department said. But Beijing-based Western diplomats and former Canadian diplomats have argued that the detentions were a "tit-for-tat" reprisal by China.

So far, none of that has been afforded to Kovrig and Spavor, each of whom has had only one visit by the Canadian ambassador in China since being arrested last month.

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Wanzhou is now facing extradition to the USA, which alleges that the Huawei executive attempted to evade US trade embargoes against Iran.

The advisory does not suggest people avoid traveling to China but does urge travelers to take increased caution.

"The Chinese, I've learned through my many years involved in Canada-China relations, they build on long term-relationships".

USA citizens may be detained without access to USA consular services or information about their alleged crime, it said. "Level Three" would see the government advising citizens to reconsider travel plans, while "Level Four" suggests the country should be avoided.

The detentions of Spavor and Kovrig have been tied to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies.

"The travel warning issued by the United States, frankly speaking, does not stand", he said.

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